As well as being the flagship meeting on the Sussex racing calendar, the five-day Glorious Goodwood extravaganza retains its traditional position as one of the principal fixtures of the entire UK flat season, writes Jason Hall.
Crowds will flock from far and wide from Tuesday onwards to enjoy the high quality sport on offer. Amongst a plethora of potentially superb action, there are 13 Group races to be run across the course of the five days, in addition to a couple of extremely valuable Heritage Handicaps, leaving no one in any doubt as to the importance of this meeting.
For many, the Group One Sussex Stakes on Wednesday afternoon is a potentially season defining moment in assessing the top end of the milers’ division.
The 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach is scheduled to resume his rivalry with the talented Toronado, a rivalry that has seen the former prevail on both of their two meetings to date.
Dawn Approach has been boldly campaigned by his Irish handler, Jim Bolger, and is a colt with a tough and enthusiastic demeanour to ally to his undoubted natural talent.
His conclusive victory in the Guineas stirred the emotions of his connections to such a degree that they valiantly chased the mantle of greatness by sending their son of New Approach to the Derby at Epsom.
Farcical pace there accentuated by the horse’s keenness meant he never had a hope of staying the trip. But despite this setback Bolger did not shirk in his belief and when many may well have given the horse a break he brought Dawn Approach to face another huge test, this time in the Group One St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Once again, very little in the race went according to plan, but despite this and the exertions of his run at Epsom he was able to narrowly edge out Toronado and claim victory. With a decent break and a less hasty preparation now behind him, I fully expect to see Dawn Approach back at concert pitch – and to emphatically prove to the racing world he is Toronado’s nemesis and that Toronado missed his only chance of upstaging the Irish star at Royal Ascot in June.
Many of our local trainers have had their stables in winning form but just like everyone else they will find it tough to get on the board at Goodwood with so many powerful yards focusing on the big meeting.
Dutch Masterpiece would be a more than feasible project if he went for the Stewards Cup on the final day but as his trainer Gary Moore has advised this column before, he would need plenty of rain before he even thought about putting him in the horsebox.
He also has Picture Dealer in the race for the same owner and after his recent emphatic win at Newmarket it is interesting Moore has entered him at York tonight under a penalty. A progressive type, he would have to win well this (Friday) evening to give him a chance at a place in next week’s feature sprint contest.
Picture credit: Jon Franklin